“The American people deserved this relief a long time ago, but I am glad that Congress has finally passed bipartisan legislation to help get through the next several months of the pandemic,” said Rep. Levin. “This bill includes desperately-needed aid to support unemployed individuals and low-income families, keep small businesses afloat, bolster our public health response and expand vaccine distribution, help schools educate safely, and more. These are all good things, but they’re not enough. We should be providing far more in unemployment and stimulus payments so families can actually make ends meet, additional grants for small businesses to keep workers on payroll, and funding to help state and local governments keep essential services running. We must pass another COVID relief bill in the coming months, and I will continue to fight for these priorities in the 117th Congress.”
“I am also glad that the government funding legislation includes other key priorities for North County San Diego and South Orange County. The bill includes my legislation to foster innovation in the storage and disposal of spent nuclear fuel, parts of my bill to expand renewable energy development on public lands, and also includes authorizations for the Del Mar bluffs shoreline project, the Oceanside Special Shoreline Study, and the San Luis Rey River Flood Protection Project. With these provisions and major new protections for patients from surprise medical bills, this legislation makes important progress for the 49th District,” said Rep. Levin.
Rep. Levin also announced that he received the COVID-19 vaccine at the direction of the House Attending Physician in order to ensure continuity of government operations.
“In response to the House Attending Physician’s ‘absolutely unequivocal’ recommendation that all Members of Congress receive the COVID-19 vaccine, I received an initial dose of the vaccine,” said Rep. Levin. “Let me be clear: this vaccine is safe and effective. I strongly encourage everyone to listen to their doctors and public health experts who recommend vaccination as soon as it is available. In the meantime, I will keep fighting for additional funding to distribute the vaccine as quickly as possible, and I will continue to follow all CDC guidelines to limit the spread of this virus.”
A summary of the COVID-19 relief legislation is available here. The legislation includes:
- $600 stimulus checks for individuals making up to $75,000 per year and $1,200 for couples making up to $150,000, as well as $600 for each child dependent. A family of four with less than $150,000 in 2019 income will receive $2,400.
- Additional unemployment benefits up to $300 per week for 11 weeks, including unemployment for contract and gig workers.
- $330 billion in grants for small businesses.
- $32 billion to support vaccine procurement and distribution.
- $9 billion for health care providers.
- $82 billion for schools.
- $22 billion for testing and tracing.
- $13 billion in nutrition assistance.
- $45 billion for transportation systems.
- $25 billion for rental assistance.
- $10 billion for child care assistance.
- $7 billion to increase access to broadband.
- $10 billion in direct funding for the United States Postal Service that was previously allocated under the CARES Act as a loan.
A summary of the government funding legislation is available here. It includes key local priorities for North County San Diego and South Orange County, including:
- Several provisions from Rep. Levin’s bipartisan legislation to expand renewable energy development on public lands.
- Rep. Levin’s legislation to create a spent nuclear fuel research and development program at the Department of Energy, authorized at $300 million over five years.
- $27.5 million for nuclear waste disposal. $20 million is for interim storage and $7.5 million is for Nuclear Waste Fund oversight activities.
- $17.6 million for local water recycling and desalination projects
- $6 million for Oceanside’s Pure Water Oceanside: Mission Basin Groundwater Purification Facility Project
- $11.673 million for South Coast Water District’s Doheny Ocean Desalination Project
- $105 million for construction projects at Camp Pendleton
- 1st MARDIV Operations Complex: $68.53 million
- I MEF Consolidated Information Center: $37 million
- Authorizations for the San Luis Rey River Flood Protection Project in Oceanside and the Del Mar bluffs shoreline project, as well as language directing the Army Corps to expedite the long-delayed Oceanside Special Shoreline Study.
- Protections from surprise medical bills by ensuring patients are only responsible for their in-network cost-sharing amounts in both emergency situations and certain non-emergency situations where patients do not have the ability to choose an in-network provider.
- Enhancements to the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) to increase the construction of affordable housing.